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Proven Instagram Stories Strategies from the Experts at Bustle – Hannah Caldwell [SSM030]

Feb 20, 2017 4 min readPodcasts
Photo of Hailley Griffis
Hailley Griffis

Head of Communications & Content @ Buffer

Instagram Stories is quickly becoming one of the go-to marketing channels for some of the world’s top brands.

Take Bustle, for example, with more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram alone, they are seeing incredible results from investing in a consistent and thoughtful Instagram Stories strategy.

In fact, they’re seeing so much success that they’ve dedicated an entire position to creating beautiful Stories 5-6 times per week.

Behind those Bustle Instagram Stories?

Hannah Caldwell. Hannah shares her expert strategies on how you can create simple, yet beautiful and engaging Stories that will help to grow your account and “wow” your audience.

Hannah also digs into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to produce great content on the platform. A huge thank you to Hannah for jam-packing this episode with actionable wisdom and takeaways for social media managers and marketers alike looking to take their Instagram Stories content to the next level in 2017!

Update: We’re excited to help you create great Instagram Stories content. That’s why we launched Stories Creator, a free, lightweight tool that enables you to create thumb-stopping content for Stories. Check it out today!

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

This episode is available on:

In this episode, here’s what you’ll learn:

Hannah Caldwell shares her expert insights into how marketers and businesses can create unique and share-worthy Instagram Stories. You’ll also learn tips like:

  • The process of creating Stories from start-to-finish
  • Ideal length and format of their top Instagram Stories
  • Developing content ideas and executing on them consistently
  • How Instagram Stories helps to grow your overall Instagram account
  • The most important metrics to measure success and growth
Instagram Stories at Bustle

3 Key Takeaways for Marketers Looking to Create Quality Instagram Stories for their Brand or Business

In Hannah’s words…

1. Think about what you like to watch

What do you like to watch? That’s a great starting point for you to begin to create relevant and engaging Instagram Stories. And if you’re not within the demographic of your target audience, then you can talk to people who are about what they would like to see.

2. Make sure it feels native to the platform

Make sure that everything feels native and natural to the platform. For example, I use my phone to film and shoot everything for our Stories even though I am not a video producer. That helps it to feel native and organic on Instagram.

3. Let it change and grow

Let your Instagram Stories change and grow as the platform changes and grows. It’s a new thing and they’re launching new features all of the time which is amazing for marketers. Make sure that you move and change with them and adapt to the changing landscape that we’re all a part of.

A Great Moment

“It’s fun for the Instagram Stories to reflect a little bit more of what our site might look like. In other words, the experience you might get on our website is reflected in our Instagram Stories.”

– Hannah Caldwell

Awesome People & Stuff Mentioned in the Show

Favorite Quotes

Quote from Hannah Caldwell of Bustle on Instagram Stories
  • We’ll create Instagram Stories that are anywhere between 5 slides and 30 slides – total. The most important part is that it is based around what type of content it is.
  • To produce as much content as we do at Bustle, it’s definitely is a time commitment, but, truly anyone can create beautiful Instagram stories with just a few inexpensive tools.
  • Completion rate and direct messages are the metrics that I watch closely and the ones that I really trust. Some days the views are high because we happen to be at the front of someone’s feed that day because of how the algorithm works.
  • We’re trying to create content that we want to be watching. Our own employees at Bustle are the target audience, so we try to create Stories that we as a team would watch. And also, we want to have a direct link to our users through messages and connections.
  • You have to think about the platform and you have to consider what it allows you to do and what it doesn’t allow you to do. So if you only have 10-15 second clips, community well within that 15 seconds.

How to Say Hello to Hannah (and us)

If you’re looking for some awesome Instagram Stories inspiration – check out Bustle on Instagram! You can also say hello to Hannah on Instagram and read more about Sunny’s journey at

Thanks for listening! We’d love to connect with you at @buffer on Twitter or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About the Show

The Science of Social Media is a podcast for marketers and social media managers looking for inspiration, ideas, and results for their social media strategies. Each week, we interview one of the very best in social media marketing from brands in every industry. You will learn the latest tactics on social media, the best tools to use, the smartest workflows, and the best goal-setting advice. It is our hope that each episode you’ll find one or two gems to use with your social media marketing!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

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